A video from Cycle 6 of the show recently went viral on social media where Tyra is seen pressuring contestant Danielle Evans, who later went on to win the show that year, to get the gap in her teeth closed.
Tyra says in the video, "So Danielle, you went to the dentist but you refused to have your gap closed."
She continued, "Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth?"
Danielle responded, "Yes, why not?"
"This is all people see," Tyra said, gesturing to her own two front teeth. "Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Cover Girl. It's not marketable."
Why was this allowed to air wtf Tyra banks is going to straight hell pic.twitter.com/xtiWl3srKJ— Aisha Oladapo (@OladapoAisha) May 5, 2020
Then, in Cycle 15 of the show, Tyra asked another contestant, Chelsey, to widen the gap
This is not the only problematic scene to come out of the show, however.
The show has clearly not aged well, with fans calling Tyra out for the fact the show made girls pose as "different ethnicities" at one point, meaning they had to do brown and blackface for the shoot.
One photoshoot saw the models pose as model stereotypes, this included anorexia and bulimia.
Who remembers when America's Next Top model did a shoot about model stereotypes and had anorexia and bulimia? I'm still mad about this tbh pic.twitter.com/5qYTeObvD5— Rotting💀🎃🍂 (@RottingToBones) February 9, 2017
In Cycle 4, contestant Kahlen was forced to pose in a grave shortly after finding out her friend had just passed away.
Does anybody remember that episode of ANTM where the one girl found out her friend died and the NEXT DAY, Tyra made her do a photoshoot in a GRAVE for motivation 😂 Tyra banks was a terrorist— 🇧🇧 Kakarot 🏁 (@_Lawbytheway) May 4, 2020
Another time Tyra told an openly gay model not to broadcast her sexuality.
Nah how did Tyra get away with this LOL pic.twitter.com/XrguUvgWFh— Tanya Compas (@TanyaCompas) May 2, 2020
Taking to Twitter, Tyra responded to the backlash, "Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you. Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs."
Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you. Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs. ❤️— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) May 9, 2020
However, some people did not think the apology was enough.
Say more about this. Which choices were off? What was off about them? Mere acknowledgement and genuine apology are not the same thing— Nabiha Ali (@nabstacks) May 9, 2020
this....... is simply not enough. you really crushed numerous girls spirits playing with lives like it was sims.— 𝗔𝗦𝗛 𝗟𝗘Ó𝗡 🕊 (@TheAshLeon) May 9, 2020
You know what would be better than this? A full fledged apology.— TIMOTHY • #StayHomeSquad 🏠 (@timothydanielob) May 9, 2020
this isn’t even near an apology. she didn’t even say the word sorry or apologize— liv (@happiestfrogs) May 10, 2020
So no apology for being a part of the problem and perpetuating certain beauty standards which not only affected the young women who participated in the show, but also a generation of people watching, and acting like a lunatic for ratings? Oh... pic.twitter.com/Y4IJx8r7Kz— Adrían Giselle Knowles-Carter (@WaffyGee) May 9, 2020
Others defended the model, saying it was a different time.
I loved ANTM growing up. It was just a different time.— Mark (@xfuturisticfunk) May 9, 2020
@tyrabanks you don’t even have to apologize. It was a different time AND for entertainment value!— Ninas420life (@ninas420life) May 9, 2020
You launched one of the most diverse television shows in history. Representation has always mattered to you, and we see that, too.— Joey Nolfi (@joeynolfi) May 9, 2020
We appreciate you. 💕
Did u not understand the industry at the time... she tried her best to also integrate real plus sized girls into the later season... I think people r over demanding from her in particular. There were other judges producers ect. And girls had seen prior seasons and still gone on🤷🏻♂️— anonymous (@coochiephobic) May 10, 2020
Danielle Evans has since addressed the controversy of the gap in her teeth online in a video on her Instagram.
She said, "I have a responsibility to address what really happened and to speak my truth."
"But let me tell you what this video is not. This is not a video to war against anyone, this is not a video to defame anyone's character, and this is not a video to discuss my relationship with Tyra."
"This is a video for me to speak my truth and to provide clarity and for me to address an issue that was done 15 years ago that carries weight and that clearly affected a lot of young girls in America..."
She then continued, explaining why she ended up going through with the procedure.
“I was not going to allow something that was physical on my face to stop me from getting out to make a better life for myself."
"I had a laser focus goal. Nothing or no one was going to stand in my way. It wasn’t about coping out. It was about understanding what holds weight and value in my life and teeth was not one of them.”
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